Italy and Malta TURN AWAY refugee boat: 629 migrants including children stranded in Med

Monday, June 11, 2018
By Paul Martin

ITALY’S new interior minister Matteo Salvini has blocked a boat carrying almost 630 refugees from docking in any harbour and is insisting Malta take the migrants.

Mon, Jun 11, 2018

The minister is being seen as making good on ‘get-tough’ anti-immigration electoral promises by banning the boat in a move which has seismic implications for the EU and international asylum policy.

The ship Aquarius, carrying 629 migrants from Libya, including seven pregnant women, is operated by the charities Medecins Sans Frontieres and Sos Mediterranee. The vessel remains afloat in the Med, unable to dock.

Mr Salvini, who is also head of the hard right, anti-immigrant Lega party, could end up closing every Italian port.

He took to Facebook to explain his move and wrote: “Enough. Saving lives is a duty, transforming Italy in a refugee camp isn’t.

“Italy is done with taking orders, this time there is someone saying no.

“Malta takes in nobody.

“France pushes people back at the border, Spain defends its frontier with weapons.

“From today, Italy will also start to say no to human trafficking, no to the business of illegal immigration.”

But Mr Salvini’s decision has incensed Maltese politicians who have also refused to take in the migrants.

Malta’s prime minister Joseph Muscat said: “The Italian government is breaching international rules and, with its attitude, is risking to create a situation that would be dangerous to everyone.

“Malta is respecting international rules and, therefore, can’t let Aquarius dock at its port.

The Rest…HERE

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